MacAllaster House

Kavavaow Mannomee


Kavavow Mannomee (1958 – ), also referred to as Qavavau Manumie, is an Inuit printmaker and drawer who works idiosyncratically, alternating between literal and expressive styles, to create images of Inuit legends and mythology, Arctic wildlife, and scenes of contemporary Inuit life. He is part of a new generation of Inuit printmakers who are reimagining Inuit art and using contemporary approaches. His work is often comprised of thin, delicate line work and a somewhat lightly colored palette, illustrating Arctic wildlife often in association with some abstract forms or patterns.

While some of his work amusingly plays on the themes mentioned above, other pieces can be quite political and comment on climate change and the subsequent relocation of the Inuit and their settlements. A recurring subject in his work are the “Inuralaat” or little people, who are depicted next to everyday objects, which they carry, or in interaction with animals which they ride or appear dwarfed by. “When he was a child, Manumie’s father told him tales of the Inuralaat, warning him to keep away if he saw their tracks as they might attack. In his drawings, the figures always seem to be moving and working with objects, offering a humorous insight into human-object relations and how such tools dominate daily life” (IAF: Qavavau Manumie: IAQ Profiles).

Born on September 21, 1958, in Brandon, Manitoba, Mannomee grew up in a family of creators. His parents were both artists, and his two brothers became sculptors. Within his first few years of life, his mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and he moved to Cape Dorset where he has lived since. Mannomee has been drawing since he was a teenager and began making prints at the West Baffin Eskimo Co-op in the 1980s; he continues to work with the Kinngait Studios using lithography and stonecutting processes. Of his creative practice he notes, “I like to draw animals, and images of people, sometimes combined. I enjoy the animals and the land, and I take what I see there to my drawings” (DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts).

In 2008, Mannomee had his first solo exhibition of original drawings in Toronto, and in 2009 he showed work at an exhibition in Vancouver. Since then, he has exhibited work within Canada and internationally at museums and galleries such as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Canada, University of Michigan Museum of Art, and the National Museum of the American Indian, among others. His prints and drawings are also included in several public collections. The artist continues to make prints and share his techniques and process with students and visitors of the Kinngait Studios.

– Research and writing by Eva Yeo, SLU Class of 2023



Inuit Art Foundation. “Qavavau Manumie: IAQ Profiles.” Inuit Art Foundation, n.d. Accessed January 29, 2023.

“Qavavau Manumie – Inuk Artist, Cape Dorset: Native Canadian Arts.” DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts, November 8, 2022. Accessed January 29, 2023.